ACC: Morgan Green
Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich
Maryland starting left tackle Bruce Campbell will have an MRI on his left knee on Monday morning to see if he tore his MCL in Saturday’s 24-21 win over Clemson, and leading rusher Da’Rel Scott could return from a broken left wrist in time for a Nov. 21 road trip, coach Ralph Friedgen said on his Sunday teleconference.
Campbell, who had missed the past two games because of a foot injury, is arguably the Terps’ top offensive lineman, but he hasn’t had much of a chance to show it this year. At the very least, he’s expected to miss Saturday’s road trip to Wake Forest. Monday’s MRI will determine how long he’ll be out, and it could be for the entire season. That’s a big loss for a unit that returned just 26 career starts this year. Campbell was just one of two returning starters from a year ago along with center Phil Costa.
“If it’s torn that’s not good,” said Friedgen, whose team surprised Clemson after a 1-3 start. “If it’s stretched, there’s a chance he could come back. I’m kind of hoping and praying for the best because we really need him. It really thins us out on the offensive line if we don’t have him.”
The Terps have more depth at running back, where Davin Meggett, Morgan Green, Gary Douglas and D.J. Adams are all options. Scott’s original prognosis was that he was likely lost for the rest of the season, and he’ll have to have a plate put into his arm, but Friedgen said Scott -- a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago -- could return in time for the trip to Tallahassee.
“It looks like he landed on it when he got tackled,” Friedgen said. “You could see him grab it right away. He probably knew what happened right away. … It was pretty apparent that he had broken his wrist even before they took him in for X-Ray.”
“Obviously losing Da’Rel was a tough thing for us, but we’re in a position where we do have a lot of running backs. Someone else is going to have step up. … It is what it is. We’re just going to have to make the best of it. I think we have good talent. All of those kids are good players, it’s just they haven’t had a lot of playing time.”
Scott leads the Terps with 297 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Here's your daily dose of practice reports from around the ACC, as reported by each school's information office:
Cloud cover kept the temperature from climbing Thursday morning as the Florida State football team donned full pads for the first time this preseason. It didn't take long, however, for the action to heat up as the Seminoles' offense made the lion's share of big plays.
Of course, a big day for the offense also comes with drawbacks.
"The hitting was pretty good, but too many big plays popped out of there," said FSU coach Bobby Bowden. "As a head coach you don't know who to root for, your defense or your offense. It scares me when big plays come out of there."
Quarterback Christian Ponder connected on long passes with wideouts Jarmon Fortson, Rodney Smith and Taiwan Easterling, as well as tight end Caz Piurowski, during the first five-minute period of 11-on-11 work.
"A lot of that came against the blitz and we've been working on that all week," Ponder said, offering a hint at the developing mindset on offense. "The blitz for us means big plays and that's what we've been working on and things opened up.
"We definitely didn't have enough big plays last year and stretch the field as much as we wanted to. Things are starting to open up and that's a good thing."
It should come as no surprise that Ponder had ample time to step up in the pocket created by the seasoned offensive line and deliver the football. Improving pass protection has been a point of emphasis since the conclusion of last season.
Junior center Ryan McMahon, who helps anchor the unit along with guard Rodney Hudson, was encouraged by the performance of the unit in its first real test of the preseason.
"Overall we felt we had a better practice today than we did the other day, but I'm sure there's plenty of room for us to improve," McMahon said. "Everybody's attitude was good and it was fun."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
1. First-year defensive coordinator Don Brown will have the right plan but the front seven will be a step behind in executing it. Brown was a great hire, and his aggressive defensive philosophy will be an upgrade, but Maryland's front seven is comprised of relatively unknown, unproven players. The Terps will rely heavily on linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten to replace a group of four linebackers who combined to play in 144 games and 54 starts. They also have to replace Mack Frost, Jeremy Navarre and Trey Covington up front. The secondary should impress.
2. Quarterback Chris Turner will have the most consistent season of his career. Turner has been known as a gamer, and has been at his best against ranked opponents. But he lost the starting job to Jordan Steffy at the start of last year because Steffy had been a better practice player. Turner knows, though, that he has to play at the same level -- not to the level of his competition -- this year. He also has to stay healthy, because there's no game experience behind him.
3. The Terps' receivers will outshine Da'Rel Scott & Co. Yes, all three of Maryland's running backs return in Scott, Morgan Green and Davin Meggett, but there is an abundance of speedy young talent waiting to take over in the second season of James Franklin's offense. This should be one of the deepest units in the conference, and that should help ease the transition into the first season without Darrius Heyward-Bey. Torrey Smith is the only returning starter, but Ronnie Tyler might be the most athletic of the bunch. Considering they're both sophomores, they're only going to get better.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
This one will probably be the toughest ranking of them all because the position is so loaded. But somebody's has to be the best, right?
1. Georgia Tech -- This is the deepest, most proven group in the conference, and it's only expected to be better in Year 2 of Paul Johnson's offense. Reigning ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer led the league in rushing last year with 1,395 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Louisville transfer Anthony Allen and sophomore Roddy Jones, along with Embry Peeples and Marcus Wright give the staff a bundle of options.
2. Virginia Tech -- Ryan Williams and Darren Evans have stolen the spotlight, but don't forget about Josh Oglesby and Kenny Lewis Jr., whose status after a torn Achilles last season will be re-evaluated at the end of the summer. Oglesby can be a threat to catch the ball, but this is still Evans' show. Williams had a great spring game, but Evans is coming off a record-setting freshman season.
3. Miami -- Graig Cooper is the team's leading returning rusher and one of the most versatile players on the roster. He and Javarris James make a tough 1-2 punch, but Cooper has his sights set on a 1,000-yard season. They've also got a great recruit in Mike James, and Lee Chambers and Damien Berry give the position added depth.
4. Wake Forest -- Wake has three capable tailbacks in Josh Adams, Brandon Pendergrass and Kevin Harris, who each had a 100-yard game last year and started at least one game. They'll have an improved offensive line blocking for them this year.
5. Boston College -- Josh Haden and Montel Harris were two of the most productive freshmen in the country last year, as they combined for 106 yards per game. They'll benefit tremendously from that experience, plus be working behind one of the best offensive lines in the ACC.
6. Florida State -- The Noles lost their leading rusher in Antone Smith, but Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones have the skills to compensate for it and the FSU running game shouldn't miss a beat. Thomas lost only 10 yards rushing all of last year, and had a breakout freshman season. Jones showed his potential in the Champs Sports Bowl with 55 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
7. Maryland -- The Terps have a solid group in Da'Rel Scott, Davin Meggett and Morgan Green, who ran for a career-high 72 yards in the Humanitarian Bowl. Scott is their star, as he rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns last year, but he's got to work on running lower and tougher between the tackles. He could be more of a complete back if he got better at running routes and improved his pass protection.
8. Clemson -- The Tigers have the most accomplished, versatile back in the ACC right now in C.J. Spiller, and he's going to get the bulk of the carries without James Davis to share it with this year. The question is if he can handle it. Sophomore Jamie Harper has been working hard this offseason for an increased role, but the Tigers definitely don't have the depth of the other teams, leaving the job almost entirely to Spiller.
9. NC State -- Just as the Wolfpack welcomed back Toney Baker, Jamelle Eugene went down with a shoulder injury and missed spring drills. Brandon Barnes and James Washington benefited from Eugene's absence, but the Pack will need to keep their top two backs healthy this fall. It will be interesting to see how effective Baker is considering he hasn't played in full pads since he was injured in the season opener two years ago.
10. North Carolina -- The Tar Heels return all of their running backs from a year ago, and should see more consistency now that everyone knows their roles. Shaun Draughn became the starter midway through last season and rushed for 866 yards, and Ryan Houston gave a powerful push off the bench, leading the team with eight touchdowns, including six from just a yard out. Freshman Jamal Womble impressed the staff this spring.
11. Duke -- The return of Re'quan Boyette will help the Blue Devils tremendously, and they're in a much better position than they were a year ago. While Boyette was out, Jay Hollingsworth led the team in rushing with 399 yards while catching 25 passes for an additional 188 yards and two touchdowns. Tony Jackson, a converted safety in his second year with the program, rushed for 259 yards while catching 12 passes for 106 yards and one touchdown.
12. Virginia -- The Cavaliers have to replace their leading rusher and team leader in Cedric Peerman, which means Mikell Simpson is going to have to revert to his 2007 form. Simpson was hampered by injuries and missed three games as a result last year. He ran for 570 yards in 2007 before dropping to 262 last year.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Summer camp is supposed to be a time when players get excited about the fall, but for Maryland running back Morgan Green, it's usually "a jinx."
Former FSU linebacker/defensive back Kenny Ingram is hoping the NFL draft experts are wrong, or at least to prove them that way.
Sports Illustrated has since retracted its story on B.J. Raji testing positive for drugs, but the Boston Herald still wonders if Raji is a burden.
When it comes to his status with the NFL, former UNC receiver Hakeem Nicks is "clueless."
And a leftover for you ...
Georgia Tech found some answers this spring -- a few leaders were among them.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
You asked, I answered:
Michael in Fort Myers writes: HD im a miami fan im curious to see how you think miami will do against oklahoma.Theres alot of hype about the sooners being a national title contender this year but they have lost all of there O-line that protects bradford. If miami can break threw that line and pressure bradford do u think miami could have a good chance at the upset? Also what is wrong with travis benjamin? i havent heard anything about him this spring and im wondering if hes going to be ready for the fall.
Heather Dinich: Actually, there are four new faces on the Sooners' o-line. Getting pressure on Bradford is obviously part of it, Michael, but don't underestimate Oklahoma's defense. If Miami fans want a quick Oklahoma 101 from their spring practices, check out my colleague Tim Griffin's blog post. I think Miami is going to play like it did against Florida last year -- better than people thought, but not quite good enough. Of course, a lot of it also depends on what kind of momentum -- or lack thereof -- they have going into that game. As for Travis Benjamin, he ran track this spring and was hampered a bit by injury, but he's fine now.
Brandon in Charlotte writes: HD - Just wanted to let you know that the UNC staff has been at Florida the last few days watching there practices.
Heather Dinich: Thanks, Brandon, I confirmed this, and was told it was a productive visit.
Kyle in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Heather, True or False, will the ACC (and the rest of the country for that matter) be ready for GT's new option offense after seeing it for a year? As an FSU fan, I know that we were completely dumbfounded on defense trying to follow all that motion. But now that there is film on the Jackets and teams can better prepare, do you think they will struggle to repeat there wins of a season ago? Love the blog, read everyday. Thanks.
Heather Dinich: I'll let Paul Johnson answer that question for you, since I asked him a few weeks ago.
"Not really," Johnson said. "They'll probably get better ideas maybe or whatever, but we're going to get better doing it, too. It's a tradeoff. We were in a league at Georgia Southern, we won the league all five years. I didn't see a change a lot from Year 1 to Year 2. At Navy we played a lot of the same teams. Some teams played us better than others. The teams with the best players seem to have the best ideas. I don't worry about that. If that was the case, when Navy and Air Force played, it would always be 0-0."
Marsh writes: Heather, what do you think of the quarter back race at Duke? The new freshmen is supposedly looking pretty good in spring practice, any chance of him taking thad's place?
Heather Dinich: Well, there really isn't a quarterback race at Duke, Marsh. Not between Thaddeus Lewis and Greg Paulus, and not between Lewis and Sean Renfree, although you're right -- the staff likes what they see from Renfree. (If that's who you're talking about, but he's a sophomore). Lewis is easily one of the top three quarterbacks in the ACC, and he's a senior. He's not going anywhere.
Andrew in Baltimore writes: What will the Terps do with their running back situation having Scott, Adams, Porzel, and a very underrated Maggett?
Heather Dinich: I don't think it will be much different than it was a year ago, with Da'Rel Scott being the No. 1 guy, and a toss-up between Davin Meggett and Morgan Green, who are like 2a and 2b this spring. The other guys aren't even on campus yet, and they probably won't figure in yet, likely redshirt guys.
Jess in Winston-Salem writes: I know it's a Yahoo story, and he didn't play for Virginia Tech, Clemson, or FSU, but it'd be great if you gave some love to Aaron Curry for this move.
Heather Dinich: Been there, done that.
A random question from Mark in Blacksburg: Hey Heather, Welcome to Blacksburg! Hope our town is treating you right! Quick question that has been bugging me for a long time: why is Boston College the only team in Division-IA football that is sponsored by Reebok? Hope you can shed some light on this.
Heather Dinich: I didn't know that BC was the only FBS team wearing Reebok, Mark, but I can tell you that Reebok is headquartered in Canton, Mass., which might have something to do with it.
A Cane in Hooville writes: HD: I know VTHokielover has respectfully requested you make mention of the tragedy at VT tomorrow and I ask the same. We are attempting to get everyone of the "regulars" to upload the VT logo over the black ribbon tomorrow as their avatar, and I have posed the suggestion that everyone pause from commenting at 9:30 AM tomorrow as our sign of a moment of silence to remember the tragedy and those affected. Thanks HD!
Heather Dinich: Funny, Cane, but you actually answered my question. Because I was on the road this week, I wasn't monitoring the comments closely or checking in as I often do, and I missed this request. I was wondering why everyone switched their avatars. Thanks for helping everyone respectfully pay their tributes on the ACC blog.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
If you don't score, it's hard to win, which is why it's worth taking a look at how much scoring returns for each team this spring. Expectations are high for Florida State in the Atlantic Division, but the Seminoles took the biggest hit, as they lost the ACC's top two overall scorers in kicker Graham Gano and running back Antone Smith. FSU had the best scoring offense in the ACC last year with an average of 33.4 points per game. Note the past tense.
These percentages don't mean teams won't find playmakers to compensate for the scoring production they lost, but it's an indicator of how much work needs to be done this spring and summer.
Here's a look the percentage of points coming back in the ACC this spring, with a quick note on each:
Georgia Tech -- 93.7 percent
• Jonathan Dwyer was second in the ACC last year with 13 touchdowns and an average of 6.2 points.
Miami -- 91.5 percent
• Eighteen different players scored last year for Miami, and 13 of them return. Matt Bosher made 18 of 20 fields goals last year and accounted for 7.2 points per game. Running back Graig Cooper scored a team-high six touchdowns.
Boston College -- 73.1 percent
• The Eagles return three of their top four scorers from last year's Atlantic Division championship team, including Steve Aponavicius, who made 14 of 21 field goals, and running back Montel Harris, who scored six touchdowns.
North Carolina -- 65.6 percent
• Former receiver Hakeem Nicks accounted for 13 touchdowns last year, including 12 touchdown receptions. Kicker Casey Barth and tailback Ryan Houston, who combined for 111 points, return.
Wake Forest -- 57.9 percent
• The Demon Deacons will sorely miss kicker Sam Swank, but they learned to live without him when Swank was injured last year. Running back Brandon Pendergrass returns, and there will be plenty of competition this spring at running back and wide receiver.
Virginia Tech -- 57.6 percent
• Darren Evans scored 11 rushing touchdowns last year, and the Hokies have plenty of playmakers, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor, returning. Four defenders scored last year, and only one -- Stephan Virgil -- returns.
Duke -- 52.7 percent
• They'll miss Eron Riley and his eight touchdowns, and running back Clifford Harris and his six touchdowns, but the return of previously injured running back Re'quan Boyette should help.
Maryland -- 47.3 percent
• The Terps will have to replace kicker Obi Egekeze, but quarterback Chris Turner and running back Da'Rel Scott return, along with running backs Morgan Green and Davin Meggett.
Clemson -- 40.4 percent
• C.J. Spiller scored 11 touchdowns last year (seven rush, three pass, one return), and averaged 5.5 points per game).
Florida State -- 29 percent
• Carlton Jones or Jermaine Thomas will have to compensate for the loss of Smith, but both are talented enough to do that, and they'll be behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
This was exactly what Maryland needed.
|Brian Losness/US Presswire|
|Maryland Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen and the Terrapins salvaged their season with a 42-35 win over Nevada.|
The Terps salvaged an otherwise disappointing season with their 42-35 win over Nevada, and they did it by winning the field position battle, controlling the line of scrimmage and wearing down the undersized Wolf Pack. In the process, they helped the ACC even its bowl record to 3-3 with four games remaining, and a few of the fans in the announced crowd of 26,781 began to chant "A-C-C!"
If there has been one thing the conference has excelled at this season, it's been keeping things interesting, and the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl was no exception.
Much like Maryland's entire season, the Terps' performance in the Humanitarian Bowl was filled with inconsistencies, wild momentum swings and unpredictable moments. (Who could have foreseen the wind blowing the ball off the tee?) An interception and two lost fumbles in the third quarter kept Nevada in the game.
Although Maryland's defense allowed its fair share of big plays, it was a respectable debut for interim defensive coordinator Al Seamonson, who was forced to audition for the job against one of the nation's most prolific offenses. Nevada was No. 2 in the nation in rushing offense at 291.42 yards per game, and the Terps held them to just 114 yards and 3.5 yards per carry.
Unfortunately, college football fans didn't get to see Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick at his best, as he was hampered by an ankle injury for much of the game. And the Terps were helped by Nevada's six drops, as Kaepernick was healthy enough to hit his receivers in stride and give them catchable balls.
Even without the seven players who were suspended from the start of the game, Maryland looked prepared and played with a purpose for four quarters.
The only problem with this win for Maryland was that it was the final game for 31 seniors, and the Terps will head into spring football sorely missing their leadership. But the first half showed flashes of promise from young players like Adrian Cannon, Torrey Smith, Ronnie Tyler and Morgan Green.
While it might have been a consolation prize for a team very much in the hunt for the ACC championship in November, it was still the senior sendoff the team was looking for and a lesson learned for next year.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Listening to Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson praise backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw this week, and in talking to NC State coach Tom O'Brien about the success of his third string tight end, it got me thinking.
There have been a lot of backups making differences in the ACC this season. Some, like Virginia Tech's Darren Evans, have simply stolen the spotlight from the starter. Others, like the Hokies' Tyrod Taylor, have stolen the starting job. And many have gotten their opportunity at the unfortunate expense of an injured -- or suspended -- teammate.
Here's a look at the ACC's best backups through the first four weeks:
Boston College: True freshman running back Montel Harris wasn't even on the two-deep when the season started, but after filling in for injured starter Josh Haden (ankle), Harris is the Eagles' leading rusher with 133 yards in two games.
Clemson: Freshman defensive tackle Brandon Thompson was supposed to redshirt, but couldn't after the news Rashaad Jackson would be out for 10 weeks and Jamie Cumbie was lost for the season after the first game. Thompson leads Clemson in tackles for loss with four, and his playing time will only increase.
Duke: Running back Clifford Harris assumed the starting role after a preseason knee injury to Re'quan Boyette. He has rushed 49 times for 203 yards (4.1 YPC) and three touchdowns. He leads Duke and is sixth in the ACC with 67.7 yards per game.
FSU: Linebacker Kenny Ingram filled in for Dekoda Watson while he was suspended and recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, three pass break-ups and had a forced fumble and recovered one. He also batted down a Riley Skinner pass on fourth and one from the FSU 10 which was one of two Skinner passes he batted down in last week's game.
Georgia Tech: In the absence of starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt, Jaybo Shaw has completed 6 of 10 passes for no interceptions, 91 yards and a touchdown in the two games he played in. He also rushed 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
- Tyler Melton, a true freshman wide receiver, stepped in for injured Correy Earls (hamstring) before the season opener and is the Yellow Jackets' second-leading receiver (five catches, 53 yards), and primary punt returner.
- Sedric Griffin, a junior linebacker, made his first career start at Boston College after two starting linebackers (Brad Jefferson, Anthony Barnes) went down in the season opener. Paul Johnson recently called Griffin their "most consistent linebacker" and he is the third leading tackler with 25 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Maryland: Running back Morgan Green took over for the ACC's injured leading rusher, Da'Rel Scott, and scored two touchdowns last weekend against Eastern Michigan.
- Quarterback Chris Turner started the season as second string behind Jordan Steffy, but inherited the offense after Steffy injured his thumb. Since throwing three interceptions in a loss to Middle Tennessee, Turner has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 368 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Miami: Senior running back Derron Thomas. He's filled in the role that Graig Cooper had when Cooper was 1b to Javarris James. Thomas has 19 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown, and a 34-yard run against Texas A&M. He's got 121 all-purpose yards in three games.
UNC -- Robert Quinn, a true freshman, started the past two weeks after defensive end Darrius Massenburg went down with a knee injury. Quinn has six tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack and two pressures.
NCSU -- Tight end George Bryan. He was the only option after injuries to Anthony Hill and Matt Kushner. Now he leads the team in catches (13), is third in yards (127) and tied for first with two touchdowns.
Virginia Tech: Darren Evans, the Hokies' No. 2 tailback, leads the team with 264 yards and four touchdowns.
- Tyrod Taylor -- He's a work in progress, as he hasn't thrown a touchdown yet, but there's no question his playmaking abilities have helped the offense. He's second on the team in rushing with 221 yards and leads with 73.7 yards per game.
Wake Forest: Ryan McManus, a fourth-year walk-on and the holder for PATs and field goals gets the unsung hero award so far. He saw the play clock running down as the Demon Deacons were lining up for the game-winning field goal against Ole Miss and very alertly called time out. The third-string quarterback does whatever he can to get on the field, including helping out on the punt and punt-return teams. His father was a starting quarterback at Wake Forest in the 1970s and is now an assistant coach at Kent State.
NEXT MAN UP
Here are the three most notable opportunities for players to join the list:
UVA: Quarterback Marc Verica. He was a respectable 22 for 30 (1 INT) for 158 yards in the loss to UConn, but now it's officially his offense. Let's see what he can do now that he's had time to prepare as the starter.
NCSU: Freshman Dwayne Maddox is taking over at weakside linebacker for Nate Irving, the Wolfpack's top playma
ker on defense.
|Chris Graythen/Getty Images||Rex Brown/Getty Images|
|Clemson's James Davis (left) and C.J. Spiller (right) make up the ACC's top rushing combo.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Last week I started to check out the ACC position-by-position, starting with the quarterbacks.
Let's see who enters the fall with the best running game:
1. Clemson -- No question here. James Davis uses his strength to plow between tackles and is the ACC's leading returning rusher (81.8 yards per game) while C.J. Spiller's speed and elusiveness make these guys the total package.
2. NC State -- With Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene returning, the Wolfpack might have the best depth. And at this position, you need it.
3. Virginia --While Cedric Peerman was injured, Mikell Simpson made a name for himself. (I watched him beat Maryland almost by himself: 119 yards rushing, 152 yards receiving). Together they can help ease the pressure off the Cavaliers' new quarterback.
4. Miami -- Graig Cooper led the Hurricanes' offense in the spring game with eight carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Javarris James (cousin of Edgerrin James) caught four passes for 60 yards and ran once for a 25-yard gain.
5. Wake Forest -- Last season, Josh Adams set the school record for the most rushing yards (953), rushing attempts (219), receptions (34), rushing touchdowns (11) and total touchdowns (12) by a redshirt freshman. His carries are sure to increase, and he enters the season as the league's second leading returning rusher.
6. Florida State -- The Seminoles will need more production out of senior Antone Smith, who had 817 yards last year on 191 carries. Once Preston Parker is done serving his two-game suspension, he could be another option. Having never played the position before, he took over for an injured Smith against Maryland last year and ran 51 yards on his first four carries, including an 18-yard touchdown run.
7. Georgia Tech -- Jonathan Dwyer averaged 5.3 yards per carry as a freshman and could be the B back in Paul Johnson's offense. Junior Jamaal Evans also has experience, as he played in 11 games. He and redshirt freshman Roddy Jones are listed as the two slot or A backs.
8. Duke -- Re'quan Boyette has led the Blue Devils in rushing the past two seasons. That experience alone puts him ahead of the final four.
9. North Carolina -- Greg Little should only improve upon his move from wide receiver to running back late last season. Ryan Houston and Devon Ramsay also had productive springs.
10. Maryland -- Morgan Green and Da'Rel Scott are talented but inexperienced. Green had three carries last season, Scott 14.
11. Virginia Tech -- Leading returning rusher Branden Ore was kicked off the team, and both of his backups (Kenny Lewis Jr. and Jahre Cheeseman) suffered serious injuries. Until we see who their playmaker will be, it's tough to have the Hokies higher. Dustin Pickle, Josh Oglesby and Darren Evans are all options.
12. Boston College -- Josh Haden was the only option here this spring, and so far, he's unproven. Replacing Andre Callender won't be easy.